Springfield, IL – Illinois lawmakers missed their own deadline for completing a state budget. How long it could take to approve a new spending plan is anyone's guess.
After failing to get a consensus on borrowing or giving the Governor wide latitude to manage the budget, House Speaker Mike Madigan (D-Chicago) sent lawmakers home until a deal can be worked out.
"So we will adjourn right now. We will stand adjourned subject to the call of the chair," Madigan said. "So that when we are prepared to finish our business we'll come back to Springfield for one or two days, hopefully no more."
Senate President John Cullerton (D-Chicago) admits politics are a factor in the budget tangle. He points out there are elections in November. But Cullerton says partisan troubles in Illinois are nothing like the rancor on the national level.
Statehouse observers say the state's money problems caused the impasse. A $13 billion deficit prompted Governor Pat Quinn to call for an income tax increase, but his idea fell short of receiving needed support in the legislature.
Few expect he will gain any more traction, despite the delay in getting a budget approved.
May 7 was the legislature's self-imposed deadline for a spending plan. There's no penalty in waiting a little while longer. But starting June 1, more votes will be needed to pass a budget.
The new fiscal year begins July 1.
On May 8, Governor Quinn said lawmakers are "pretty close" to a new state budget.
Quinn said lawmakers still have work to do but plenty of time to do it.
Thanks to Illinois Public Radio and The Illinois Associated Press